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Certainly, though, there's some fine pedigree to Up the Bracket. With the Clash's Mick Jones at the production helm, gravelly tracks such as "Horror Show" and "The Boy Looked at Johnny" rattle along like phlegmy first-gen punk classics. But like the Strokes, The Libertines manage to imbue snotty garage-rock with a sort of wistful romanticism--an effect that adds genuine soul to their raucous clatter. Although there's no sign of "What a Waster", the snotty single with which the group made their name, there's no shortage of excellent tunes here: "Boys in the Band" is an affectionate hymn to the groupie, with frontmen Pete Doherty and Carl Barat hollering "And they all get 'em out / For the boys in the band". "I Get Along" proves that behind their shambolic veneer these boys have an eye for a tight, nervy but undeniably classic songwriting style that pricks memories of the Jam or the Buzzcocks. Very, very promising. --Louis Pattison
The Libertines are as English as the Sid James dialogue they quote in their lyrics. Not for them the trappings of nu metal or modern rock. Instead they play it fast and tight and scruffy round the edges. The result is charming: twelve short, funny, fast songs about English life with fuzzy guitars and good tunes. It could have been made in 1966 or 1977.
But they don't sound particularly nostalgic or sentimental. The "Good Old Days", name checking Queen Bodecia, denies that the good old days were any good and demands that they have their own time. They aren't straining hard to recapture a beat group ambience or recreate a classic sound. They just get on with telling it like they see it. And what they see includes riots as well as bare bottoms, blood and class war as well as romance, ("Time For Heroes"). They're witty with a healthy streak of vulgarity.
It's the intelligence and the energy that makes this album work. "Horrorshow", a song that touches on heroin use, features a suitably twisted vocal. Sometimes they're sarcastic but always fun and with a high proportion of tunes that stick in your head ("Boys in the Band"). They're having a laugh but they are not trying too hard to entertain us.
Rough Trade are unlikely to sell as many copies of this as they did of the Strokes debut. The Libertines are not cool or fashionable enough. Instead they are casual and rough and ready. But they do share a back to basics, song driven approach and they convince.
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Half the album is instantly catchy, for example, the singalong swagger of Boys in The Band and the rugged punk of I Get Along. Other tracks like Radio America and Vertigo sound, when first listened to, like they were written 5 minutes before they were recorded. They are not instantly catchy, Radio America sounds like it's going to fall apart at any moment. But it is the spontaneity of the music that makes the album a masterpiece.
It is evident from the album that the Libertines play music for enjoyment, not for money or a transient dose of fame, their raw sound being very unlike much of the over produced, sickeningly sweet music that captivates most of the British Youth today. The lyrics are paeans to a lost age, to the England of Oscar Wilde and Thomas Hardy. The Libertines tell it like it is!
I can honestly say I haven't been as in love with an album like this since The Stone Rose's released their debut. Outstanding in every way it grows better and better with every listen (and there's been quite a few of those so far). It's impossible to nominate outstanding tracks as they are are all outstanding and my favourite changes daily.
The Libertines combine the current New York cool of The Strokes with the old UK punk cool of the Clash, whilst chucking in a smattering of The Jam and The Buzzcocks and an understanding of English Folk (yes FOLK). The lyrics are oh so British which just adds to the appeal; intelligent, witty and so to the point. Instant identification. Things just don't get much better!
I hope the band get over their much publicised problems and record again because if they don't it will be a criminal waste of talent. And for all you undecided out there, if you like the current New York scene or have a soft spot for the punk/new wave scene of the late70's/early80's, or if you just like intelligently written pop/rock, do yourselves a favour and buy this album. I promise you, you won't be disappointed.
The best songs for me are Death on the Stairs, Boys in the Band, Up the Bracket and What a Waster, but there isn't a single bad song on the album. Don't ask me to pick out a single song to go as my favourite, because it's impossible. They are all too good.
It's a rarity that any band will produce an album in which you can agree with every single song, but this is certainly something you can listen to all the way through without being disappointed, other than the fact that the album ends somewhat quicker than anyone would ever wish.
Pete and Carl have to be one of the great frontmen pairings of the current indie/rock/punk scene. Their guitar and singing techniques are like none other from any of the current selection of bands, only Eastern Lane come anywhere close but they still lack in many areas.
Overall, it is simply impossible to sell this album to any budding buyers properly without saying just have a listen, you need to hear it to believe it basically.
Oh, and the intro to "Up The Bracket" is the best intro to any song ever in my view!!
The Libertines rule, forever...
There are a few tracks which are instantly great, time for heroes being the stand out classic, but some songs are slow burners such as tell the king and begging.
There has been much hype about the libertines, most notably them being called the british strokes, this is far form the case. The badn in themselves sound completely different to the strokes. What you get is a celebration of British life, Most Uk listeners will be able to completely relate to hte lyrics. for example "there are few more distressing sites than that of an englis man in a baseball cap" form time for heroes, displaying the woes of the people you see on street corners with one earing and a kappa tracksuit.
The band have undergone tough times lately with singer/guitarist being incarcirated for a month. But they are back on top now with a second album pending
my advice is this: download "time for heroes" if you like what you hear (you almost certainally will) then you must buy this album. it has such a range of different musical styles, form the beutifull tell the king to the catchy and upbeat "up the bracket"
put simply, if you're from the UK you will see exactly where this album is coming from and it will not leave your CD player for months
a modern classic